Last February’s mild and sunny days were a joy for most of the people, but what most of them didn’t know then was that a sunny warm February is catastrophic for the apricot trees. The damage done by those sunny days in February was obvious to the farmers even before this year’s apricot harvest got underway a couple of weeks ago. It means the crop will be about 75% down – 15 tons as against last year’s 60 tons. That is a huge and tragic difference.
However, the weather is just part of the story. Last year’s harvest was exceptional because climate conditions were perfect. But it is also true that after an unusually fruitful harvest the trees produce less the following year. But even so, those warm February days didn’t do any good.
The bulk of Majorca’s harvest comes from the Porreres area. Last year, growers started selling their apricots with an identification tag indicating they were exclusively from that part of the island. This was mainly to distinguish them from mainland apricots which, most us agree, are not as flavourful as the Majorcan ones. In some shops and supermarkets mainland apricots go on sale as being locally grown. The identification tags have put an end to that.
According to majorcadailybulletin.com¸ the apricot is perhaps the summer fruit most associated with Majorca, not just because it is abundant, delicious and cheap, but because much of the harvest is turned into dried apricots, which are extremely tasty.
More apricots are grown in Murcia than anywhere else in Spain, followed by the Balearics and Valencia. Apricots are one of the traditional fruits of a Majorcan summer and at their best they are juicy, full of flavour and have a memorable perfume.